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Binaural Spatialization over a Bone Conduction Headset: The Perception of Elevation

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Binaural spatialization over a bone conduction headset in the vertical plane was investigated using inexpensive and commercially available hardware and software components. The aim of the study was to assess the acuity of binaurally spatialized presentations in the vertical plane. The level of externalization achievable was also explored. Results demonstrate good correlation between established perceptual traits for headphone based auditory localization using non-individualized HRTFs, though localization accuracy appears to be significant worse. A distinct pattern of compressed localization judgments is observed with participants tending to localize the presented stimulus within an approximately 20° range on either side of the inter-aural plane. Localization error was approximately 21° in the vertical plane. Participants reported a good level of externalization. We’ve been able to demonstrate an acceptable level of spatial resolution and externalization is achievable using an inexpensive bone conduction headset and software components.

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Testing Audio Performance of Hearables

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Smart headphones or "hearables" are designed not only to playback music but to enhance communications in the presence of background noise and in some cases, even compensate for hearing loss. They may also provide voice recognition, medical monitoring, fitness tracking, real-time translation, and even augmented reality (AR). They contain complex signal processing and their characteristics change according to their smartphone application and “real world” conditions of their actual environment, including background noises and playback levels. This paper focuses on how to measure their audio performance under the many various real-world conditions they are used in.

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Estimating Ear Canal Volume through Electrical Impedance Measurements from In-Ear Headphones—Initial Results

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The acoustics of the external ear has been extensively studied in areas such as audiology and 3D audio. In other contexts electrical impedance measurements found application in the analysis, design, and performance control of electroacoustic transducers. This research investigates the links between ear canal acoustics and electrical impedance of in-ear headphones. The primary goal was to examine the effect of the ear canal dimensions on impedance and pressure at the eardrum. Impedance and pressure were measured using ear canal simulators of different size and shape. Results show similarities between the two quantities, with a clear relation between main resonant peak and volume. This paper gives insights into the potential use of electrical impedance to extract information about the external ear.

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Non-Invasive Parametric HRTF Measurement for Human Subjects Using Binaural and Ambisonic Recording of Existing Sound Field

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Head related transfer functions (HRTFs) are usually measured using binaural microphones and speaker systems at discrete directions one after another, which are quite tedious to carry out. Recent years have seen fast HRTF acquisition systems that measure HRTFs using large speaker arrays or continuously moving speakers or subjects. All these existing HRTF measurement systems require the creation of the desired sound field with intended sound stimuli from loudspeakers, limiting to only the controlled environment with low noise. However, our real world is full of sound sources that can be better exploited. In this paper we propose a novel non-invasive HRTF measurement system that requires only a recording of the existing sound field using binaural and ambisonic microphones. Based on a parametric model, ambisonic and binaural signals are processed in the time-frequency domain to obtain HRTFs at all available frequencies and directions. Simulation results from various scenarios confirm that HRTFs (specifically, HRTF magnitude) can be measured relatively accurate in most cases. A preliminary measurement was also conducted to show the coupling effect of head on the ambisonic signals.

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Evaluating Intermittent and Concurrent Feedback during an HRTF Measurement

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Authentic 3D audio is a critical factor for a truly immersive virtual reality experience. As each individual perceives 3D audio in a different way, personalization of this experience is required. We have recently developed a low-cost and ef?cient HRTF measurement procedure that allows for such personalization. In this paper we compare two proof-of-concept prototypes, which gamify this measurement procedure: a lightweight mobile solution that provides intermittent visual feedback and a virtual reality approach which provides concurrent visual feedback. Results of a user study indicate that user performance is better with having concurrent feedback, although the concurrent feedback approach was perceived as less intuitive by most test subjects.

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Acoustic Validation of Electrostatic All-Silicon MEMS-Speakers

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MEMS based acoustic transducers are of high interest for in-ear-applications such as hearables and hearing aids. In this paper we present detailed measurements of CMOS compatible MEMS speakers based on electrostatic bending actuators. The results are discussed in the context of basic modeling approaches and analytical calculations. At 500 Hz a sound pressure level of 70 dB was measured with a THD of 5% in a standard ear simulator. The THD is dominated by second-order harmonic distortion products. Future work will focus on increased SPL and reduced distortion with optimized actuator design.

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Study on Differences between Individualized and Non-Individualized Hear-Through Equalization for Natural Augmented Listening

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Hear-through (HT) equalization (EQ) is imperative to achieve acoustical transparency for Augmented Reality headphones. Our previous study has shown that closed back headphones can be used with directional hear-through filters derived using adaptive algorithms to emulate reference case of open ear listening. The objective results and perceptual studies showed close match of ideal equalized signal with this reference signal. However, previous study only evaluated the performance of HT filters based on dummy head measurements, where it was assumed that individualized measurements are required for ideal hear-through. The effect of non-individualized HT filters was not clear and remained to be investigated. The aim of this study is to evaluate the differences in using individualized and non-individualized HT filters. It is hypothesized that a major difference exists because of the individual pinnae cues. The objective and subjective results suggest that there are perceptually distinguishable differences in timbre and high errors in localization for non-individualized HT EQ as compared to individualized HT EQ.

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A one-size-fits-all earpiece with multiple microphones and drivers for hearing device research

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Earpieces that include one or more microphones and drivers are required in many research applications related to hearing devices, however suitable devices are often not readily available. In this contribution we present the development and evaluation of an earpiece for research on assistive hearing devices and hearables. The earpiece includes two balanced armature drivers as well as four microphones, which are built into a one-size-?ts-all acrylic shell. It features custom transducer positioning at different positions inside a vent, as well as a microphone inside the ear canal. We discuss details on the earpiece design, present acoustic measurements, and discuss the eligibility for different applications. The earpiece is openly available both in a vented as well as an occluded version.

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Design and Electroacoustic Analysis of a Piezoelectric MEMS In-Ear Headphone

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This article takes an in-depth look at an in-ear headphone demonstrator with a piezoelectric MEMS driver. The MEMS transducer and the demonstrator system including earphone enclosure, signal processing, and application-speci?c ampli?er are described. The main focus of this study lies on an exhaustive electroacoustic analysis of a MEMS earphone, comprising an electrical impedance measurement, various acoustical measurements, and an investigation of the thermal behavior of piezoelectric MEMS drivers. The results show the high potential of this technology for in-ear applications and promise even greater acoustic performance with future improvements.

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Externalization Enhancement for Headphone-Reproduced Virtual Frontal and Rear Sound Images

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Non-individual head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) are commonly used in binaural rendering systems because measuring personal HRTFs is dif?cult in consumer scenarios. However, the perceived externalization of such rendered virtual sound images is usually low, especially for frontal and rear sound sources. This study proposed a method for improving perceived externalization of virtual frontal and rear sound images presented over headphones, consisting mainly of direction-dependent peak and notch ?lters for direct sound parts, and ?lter bank based decorrelation ?lters for early re?ection parts. The result of the subjective listening experiment showed that the perceived externalization of frontal and rear sound sources was substantially improved by our proposed method compared to the conventional method.

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                 Search Results (Displaying 1-10 of 30 matches)
AES - Audio Engineering Society